On any given day, those on foot battle encroachments and damaged footpaths. When it pours, walking becomes a treacherous ordeal

Sheets of water on roads across the city on Thursday made walking practically impossible for residents. After Wednesday night’s rains, several stretches were completely waterlogged, while others were slushy, forcing pedestrians to wade through puddles, while motorists inched their way through.

The sudden showers, which began late on Wednesday evening, caught many by surprise. While working professionals who were retuning home were stranded, the rains also affected school and college students, as they continued on until Thursday morning.

Roads in Tondiarpet, New Washermenpet, Perambur and Moolakadai were completely inundated. Kilpauk, Villivakkam and Mogappair West also suffered with Balfour Road and Barnaby Road among those flooded.

On many of these stretches, pedestrians had little choice but to walk through stagnant pools, vying for space with vehicles and risking accidents. On battered stretches, lengthy traffic jams made things worse.

Residents of Kilpauk said roads in the area became flooded even after a brief spell of rains, forcing them to walk on the road as pavements were completely encroached by parked vehicles.

Several roads in north Chennai, already in bad shape, have worsened now, with potholes filled with stagnant water. Parts of Tiruvottiyur High Road and Vaidyanatha Mudali Street in Tondiarpet, the Tollgate bus terminus, Basin Road and parts of New Washermanpet were waterlogged.

Water stagnation in New Washermenpet forced pedestrians to try and find what little dry land there was, as they waited for their buses. In Moolakadai, road users had to battle not just rain-ravaged roads but also traffic snarls.

“Walking on Madhavaram High Road requires real skill. There are no pavements and the roadside is either slushy or waterlogged. To add to the problems, there are frequent traffic jams. The condition of the road is especially bad due to the ongoing flyover construction work in Moolakadai,” said Saraswathi, a pedestrian.

Pedestrians in developing areas such as Korattur and Mogappair West said they did not even have dedicated space to walk on. R. Gopalan, a resident of Mogappair, said the roads had been dug up for various projects but had not been re-laid properly. Added to that, garbage bins and vehicles lined the road margins on Kambar Salai, cutting off what little space pedestrians had. “It only becomes worse during the rains,” he said.

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